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The Rise of the One-Bishop Rule in the Early Church: Part III

INFLUENTIAL THEOLOGICAL FACTORS Need for Church Unity As great as the influences of the Jewish and Gentile environments were, they were eclipsed in impor­tance by the pressures exerted on the young church by questions of doctrine and discipline.  Both is­sues threatened to sunder the church.  The...

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Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-05-2014


“Nothing seems to be fixed in the Christian life. For every spiritual principle, there are those odd exceptions that simply refuse to fit into our paradigms. This is true when it comes to a revelation of Jesus Christ.

By revelation, I’m not speaking of a physical vision or an audible voice. I’m speaking of that inward “knowing” of the Lord where we catch a glimpse of Him that’s so overmastering that it wipes everything else off the table. In Paul’s words, God called him by His grace to “reveal His Son in me” (Gal. 1:15-16).

In my experience, and in my observation over the last thirty years of following the Lord, I’ve discovered that as a general rule a revelation of Jesus Christ will eventually lead to a revelation of His church as well as a revelation of God’s grand mission (or Eternal Purpose).

By that I mean, knowing the Lord will necessarily lead to hungering for, desiring, and seeing the reality of His Body in practice as well as the Divine purpose for which the Body exists. The reason? Christ and the church are inseparably united. And experiencing the Head will naturally give one a spiritual instinct for the experience of the Body and the mission that God has given it.

Therefore, if you’re one of those Christians who wants to know your Lord in a more than superficial way, you will most likely have a head-on collision with the experience of His Body at some point in your life. You will “see” it and then you will “hunger” for it. And to be quite honest, you may be desparate enough to do all you can to find it and live in it.

To grasp more fully what I’m speaking about, I would commend to you two books by T. Austin-Sparks: The Stewardship of the Mystery and God’s Spiritual House.

I wish every Christian in the missional church would carefully read these two books.”

by Frank Viola Author

Devoted to God’s Will

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-05-2014


There is a third thing which defines that to some degree, which puts its finger upon the root of the matter. What is the man after God’s heart? What is it that God has sought in man? The verse in Acts tells us: “…who shall do all my will” (Acts 13:22). If you look at the margin you will see that “will” is plural: “…all my wills” – everything that God desires, everything that God wills, the will of God in all its forms, in all its ways, in all its quests and objectives. The man who will do all His wills is the man after God’s heart, whom God has sought. The words are spoken, in the first place, of David. There are several ways in which David as a man after God’s heart is brought out into clear relief.

Ex-Clergy Survival Guide

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-01-2014


It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

~ Upton Sinclair

The Anabaptists were persecuted by both the Catholic and Protestant streams of Christianity.

They didn’t believe in the institutionalization of the church, including a clergy/laity divide.

This got them into hot water with organized Christianity.

Many contemporary pastors are leaving the pastorate for similar reasons. They are experiencing a crisis of conscience.

If you are an ex-clergyman, and you wish to find work outside of your religious profession, send an email to expastorsguide @ gmail.com and receive a free copy of the Ex-Pastors Survival Guide.

Links on Jon Zens, an ex-pastor:

Jon Zens | LinkedIn

View Jon Zens’s professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network, helping professionals like Jon Zens discover inside 

What’s with Paul and Women?: Jon Zens, Wade Burleson

as a clear mandate to silence women in the church for over 1500 years. In What’s With Paul & Women? Jon Zens exposes the fallacies of this interpretation.

Istoria Ministries Blog: Searching Together, Edited by Jon Zens

Sep 21, 2010 – One of my favorite theologians is Jon Zens. Jon edits the quarterly periodical called Searching Together, formerly known as the Baptist 

Is Paul sexist? (with Dr. Jon Zens) – YouTube

Adam Zens and Bo Bennet interview Dr. Jon Zens. Jon explains why he doesn’t think that Paul is sexist and

Gatherings In The Early Church. By Jon Zens | house2housemagazine

Oct 17, 2013 – Gatherings In The Early Church. By Jon Zens. Sharing Christ with One Another, Not Listening to a Pulpit Monologue. Although I have problems 

Jon Zens Talks About His New Book: No Will of My Own

May 7, 2011 – Author Jon Zens joined in earlier today at Jocelyn Andersen’s Blog Talk In his Introduction to No Will of My Own, Jon states, “In this case, 

Four Tragic Shifts in the Visible Church | Jon Zens – Granted Ministries

Read “Four Tragic Shifts in the Visible Church” by Jon Zens. Download for free. See our review.

Jon Zens: The Pastor Has No Clothes | 5 Pt. Salt

Aug 15, 2011 – This is the kind of thing that makes you go “Hmmm….” Or…. “Are you kidding me?” Related Post: The Pastor-Teacher: One Calling, One Office

Jon Zens’ Powerful New Book

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-01-2014


Jon Zens has just released a new book entitled, 58-0: How Christ Leads Through the One-Anothers


There is a serious need for Christians today to understand their true identity as members of the priesthood who minister to one another as the N.T. affirms. This book couldn’t be more necessary or timely for the Church today. A definite “must read” for every follower of Jesus.

—Keith Giles, California, author of The Power of Weakness and “This Is My Body”: Ekklesia as God Intended

 Bold, fresh, insightful and provocative. A treasure chest of light on the church. This is perhaps Jon’s best work yet.

—Frank Viola, author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth, frankviola.org

Finally, a book for all believers about the beauty, worth, and high place of the church in the life of a saint. No denominational favoritism here. Instead, Jon and Graham move beyond centuries of division and factions to help God’s people understand the lovely simplicity of what it means to be the church. From the very start, the authors’ premises and passions are evident. Jon’s inimitable style combines a likeably direct, no-nonsense approach to church life that offers much practical guidance to the subject. 58 to 0 is a definitive must for every Christian who is serious about sharing life in the Body of Christ.

—Dr. Stephanie Bennett, Florida, professor of Communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and author of Communicating Love, and two works of fiction, Within the Walls, and Breaking the Silence

In 58 to 0, I see the heart and soul of Jon’s writings since I first met him in 1979. I firmly believe that believers will see in this book the heart and soul of Christ. As a historian, I agree with Jon that a radical shift took place in the Churches view of leadership and authority early in the second century. What was once the work of the Holy Spirit became the duty of a special class of leaders, separated in kind from the laity. I grew up in Africa and had the privilege on several occasions of seeing first-century body life in the first believers in a community. I also witnessed the intrusion of the “organized” church, which replaced the “one-another” relationships that were occurring organically, with a structured authority. Jon, in 58 to 0, has articulated the best description of what I saw in my childhood in Africa, and what I yearn to see in all of Christ’s people. I urge folks to put down what else they may be reading, and read this book. I have little doubt that an honest wrestling with the themes in the book will result in new paradigms, and a new appreciation for the person and work of Christ. I think this is the most important book that Jon has written.

—Skeeter Wilson, Washington author of Worthless People and the forthcoming Crossing Rivers

Frank Viola Reviews N.T. Wright’s Book on Paul

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-12-2013


N.T. Wright has come out with a new book.

That’s like saying, “Bill O’Reilly just said something controversial.”

The response: “Tell me something new.”

Ah, but this N.T. Wright book is (cough) 1,600 pages long and it appears in 2 volumes.

So how does one write a review for a 1,600 page book?

I’m not sure. You tell me if I pulled it off successfully or not. But I don’t think I can do the book justice.

As I pointed out in my recent interview with N.T. Wright, I believe Wright is the new F.F. Bruce.

I won’t support that statement here as I’ve done so sufficiently in that interview. But Wright’s recent contribution underscores it.

In some respects, N.T. Wright is also the new C.S. Lewis . . . minus Lewis’ amazing gift for writing classic fiction.

Wright’s newest contribution, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, is a two-volume tome that can stop a freight train.

What Wright does so well is recontextualize the New Testament in terms of the cultural setting and mindset of that era. Something I have often done in my own work, though at a popular level.

The fact is, the New Testament was written 2,000 years ago. So reading a document from that era requires that we walk back into a world we don’t understand and get hold of the sociological and cultural context, the original meaning of words and phrases, and the history that led up to the writing of the documents.

If not, we are ripe to make the grave mistake of reading our present-day mindsets and paradigms back into the New Testament.

We do this with our brand of 21st-century “church” all the time when we pick up the Bible. (See Pagan Christianity for how this plays out.)

For Wright, the real Palestinian Paul of Tarsus has been usurped by millennia of religious ideas, many of which have few points of contact with the first century.

Wright takes the classic “Paul a slave-apostle of Jesus the Savior dying on the cross to save ungodly sinners by repenting from their unrighteousness” and reworks it into “Paul the Palestinian yet Greco-Roman-immersed Jew who is faithful to the Messiah’s embodiment of YHWH’s covenant faithfulness.”

Click here to read the rest of the review


Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-11-2013


A new Facebook Page – Jesus First

Celebrities on Jesus

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-11-2013


Frank Viola author has written a series of articles on various celebrities and their statements about Jesus.

Bono on Jesus

Justin Bieber on Jesus

Elvis on Jesus

John Lennon on Jesus

Alice Cooper on Jesus

Peyton Manning on Jesus

Frank Viola Refutes “Strange Fire”

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-10-2013


Frank Viola is starting a series of blog posts critiquing John MacArthur’s book Charismatic Chaos which has been revised as Strange Fire.

Viola writes:

“In October 1994, I wrote a lengthy critique of John MacArthur’s controversial book Charismatic Chaos.

I was in my 20s at the time.

MacArthur’s Chaos contains his core arguments against the theology and practice of the charismatic community. That would include a polemic on why he believes the supernatural gifts of the Spirit have ceased from operating today.

(Note that I criticize much that passes off as “spiritual” within charismatic circles today in my book, Revise Us Again. So if you’re interested in those critiques, you can look at that volume.)

Over the next week, I’m going to post excerpts from my critique of Charismatic Chaos because MacArthur’s arguments in that volume are simply rehashed in his new book, Strange Fire, which is causing no small frenzy among Christians right now.

I will then make my entire critique available.

In this post, I’ve published the Preface to my critique of MacArthur’s book as it explains why I wrote the critique and why I think MacArthur’s main arguments are flawed.”

Read the rest of Viola’s article here

Jon Zens – A Voice for Modern Anabaptists

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-07-2013


Jon Zens is an Anabaptist scholar. Zens has a B.A. in Biblical studies from Covenant College, a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and a D.Min. from the California Graduate School of Theology.

Jon Zens

Jon Zens

He is the editor of Searching Together magazine.

Zens’s books include the following:

What’s With Paul & Women: Unlocking the Cultural Background to 1 Timothy 2

The Pastor Has No Clothes: Moving from Clergy-Centered Church to Christ-Centered Ekklesia

No Will of My Own: How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity & Personhood

A Church Building Every 1/2 Mile: What Makes American Christianity Tick?

Christ Minimized? A Response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins

Related Articles:

Searching Together

Jon Zens Website

Jon Zens and Frank Viola interview

Jon Zens on LinkedIn

Jon Zens: Pagan Christianity

Jon Zens on Beyond Evangelical

Jon Zens on Good Reads

Jon Zens Interview

Meet Jon Zens

Sites We Recommend

Posted by Radical Resurgence | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-10-2012


Searching Together

Till He Comes

Beyond Evangelical

David Fitch

Greg Boyd

Stanley Hauerwas

John Howard Yoder

T. Austin-Sparks

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jon Zens

Frank Viola

N.T. Wright